Hippie Siths and Millenial Obi-Wans
Today I am taking a break from sharing my book to speak about something that has bothered me for many years…Please indulge me…tell me what you think about this subject if you like……
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We who came of age in the 60’s were a highly privileged lot. There really is no population in history that had the advantages that white Americans enjoyed in the 50’s and 60’s. Our parents’ generation’s sacrifice in WWII had produced a world-wide empire of riches, which were exploited by the 50’s Empire builders. We were the beneficiaries of this empire building.
We were the children of that generation. We had no great war to fight, until the Military-Industrial Complex, grown top-heavy and consumed with power, plunged us into the Vietnam fiasco. We lived in peace, with great free educations, little crime, and increasing benefit of advancing medicine and other sciences. It was a Golden Age.
But, like Siddhartha, we grew suspicious of our fathers. We looked at racism and saw injustice. Vietnam began and we saw an unnecessary and power-motivated war. Rebellion began to creep in. LSD came along. Psychedelic travelers took flight and came back to Earth with messages of peace, love, and equality. My generation, I was 20 in 1968, saw a promise of a world without borders, without race hatred, without war.
These were passionate, noble visions and they ignited the world. But they didn’t last long. These impulses soon morphed into forms that imitated the original but which had darker, more self- centered cores. We grew up, had families and had to earn a living. We embraced self-absorption and gradually left the world-changing vision behind.
We had a chance to change the world, but used that opportunity to produce “Crime Scene Miami, etc,etc,etc.”, Methedrine, hedge funds, giant SUV’s, McMansions. We gave up the promise and learned how to go for the money; we became adept at screwing people in business, we dumbed down our populace with gigantic torrents of media crap, and despite our love of Star Wars we became Siths. I am a very minor part of that- I wrote 867-5309. Where did Bob Dylan go? He turned into American Idol. We went from home cooking to MacDonald’s and restaurants named “Playte”. “Dr. Strangelove” became a TV murder-and -sex thriller, predictable and base.
In our drive to make money, lots and lots of money—who really needs 200 million dollars? We let the right- wing part of our country off the hook. The former race lynchers retrenched and came back stronger. Look where we are today: the country is in financial and cultural ruin. The forces of ultra-conservatism are on the rise. This is because people don’t know the most basic things about the world around them. Some of these people run for president and garner millions of supporters.
We are to blame, The 60’s generation. We have left the world worse than when we found it/ Shame on us.
The only bright side I see is in the newer generations, who somehow seem to embody the ideals of the 60’s in better fashion than did we. They have much less race hatred. They see a world that needs a lot of work. I see them now in the 99%’ers, may they lead us out of darkness. I hope the make better movies, transform television, and speak out again through their music.
It’s not politics; it’s the Culture, stupid.
Perhaps the Millennials can play the Obi-Wans to our Sith generation.
I certainly hope so for the sake of the future of our world.